Friday, November 4, 2011

Follow-up Friday - Nov 3 2011

Last weekend I had a pretty good genealogy day over the weekend because I finally got my new desk set up. I heard that many of my genealogy pals got some good genealogy time put in over the weekend as well. I don't know if it's because the weather is getting cooler and we are staying inside more or if it's just because things are starting to slow down or what. But I definitely have a happy face on, despite the trials and tribulations I've been experiencing at work.

So in my genealogy news, I've been working on finding the parents of William Peters who was born in 1874 in Thomasville, Missouri. One of my DNA Family Finder matches believes the Peters line is our connection, however I don't have a leg to stand on because I can't get past William Peters. I did find a Martha Peters on the 1880 Oregon County, Missouri Census Report who could have been his mother as she had a young William living with her that fit my William. But then I got distracted by trying to trace this Martha to a James Peters family out of Anderson County, Tennessee. Turns out this family moved to Missouri and James disappeared leaving Martha to fend for herself and their 2 (or 3) children. Descendants of this family are not receptive to the idea of them having a son named William though, nor to the idea that Martha was living in Oregon County, Missouri in 1880! Another find I had is a newspaper article in which a John Peters was shot and beaten to death on his employer's farm by a gang of brothers in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I had heard my William was beaten to death but his death certificate said he died of a heart attack in Pocahontas, Arkansas. I wonder if maybe this John was William's father (or close relative) and he was the one the family remembers who was beaten to death. Only problem was that the 1880 Council Bluffs census says John Peters was single (William was born in 1874), he was living in Iowa and not in Missouri or Illinois where William was rumored to have been born, and John was from Denmark. Surely I would have heard something about Denmark in the family! Well the nice thing is that I've been able to comb through a bunch of newspapers that my University subscribes to.Click on this post to view newspaper article for the death of John Peters of Council Bluffs Iowa.

In addition to working on my Peters line, I have done some research on my Dunlap family in Stokes County, North Carolina.  Jesse Dunlap left North Carolina about 1820 and moved to Tennessee and then moved to Texas and then finally settled in Arkansas about 1840. His two sons, Jesse Dunlap, Jr and Lorenzo Dow Dunlap were killed in the Mountain Meadow Massacre of 1857 in Southern Utah. You might have heard about it. Click the above link for more information. Anyways, I started off my search in the totally wrong direction and it took a nice genealogist named Rex Bertram to set me straight. He sent me back to the North Carolina original records. So I have been combing through the Stokes County, North Carolina deeds (they are online – whoo hoo!), using the NorthCarolina State Archives online catalog called MARS to find land grants and wills, and compiling census records in order to piece together the history of the Dunlap family prior to their removal from North Carolina. This was also prompted by a Family Finder DNA match.

Lastly, I finished transcribing the estate files of John F. Dry of Perry County, Illinois. I happened upon these scans as I was making a list of files that I needed to scan during the next Scanfest. If you don’t know what this is, it happens the last Sunday of the month and it’s a time when genealogists all over the world get together in a chat room and chat while they scan their photos and documents. I usually do a pretty good job of keeping up with my scanning, but I always have a lot to catch up with after a trip to the library. These estate files were scanned once but at a very low resolution. I must have had a problem with the scanner. So they have not been transcribed. I did manage to rescan this set of estate files, so I was able to transcribe them. And then, my biggest feat of the week is that after reading Michael Hait’s blog post on Do you understand source citations? I decided to try my hand at writing an “official” citation to the estate file I was sent copies of and transcribed as mentioned above. It is probably missing several pieces because I was not the actual person who went to the courthouse and made the copies. In fact, I probably would have copied where the book sat on the shelf!

Anyways, here’s the citation I came up with (complete with footnote note):

John F. Dry Estate File No. 128, dated 1847; Perry County, Illinois Probate Records, Box 307; Perry County Courthouse, Pickneyville, Illinois. This estate file was copied by Stella Runyon,, Illinois, USA, in February of 2007 and sent to me by snailmail. Note that Stella told me this was file no. 158, however according to the Perry County Probate Index that is online at, and accessed 03 November 2011, (this is Stella’s homepage), it is file no. 128. I have change it to File No. 128 because I believe this index was compiled since 2007.

Check out Michael’s post if this citation doesn’t make sense to you!


  1. Small correction - local files start with the name of the locality. Here is how I would write this citation:

    Perry County, Illinois, Probate Records, Box 307, File no. 128, John F. Dry Estate (1847); Perry County Courthouse, Pickneyville, Illinois. Photocopy provided by Stella Runyon (address for private use), Feb 2007. Ms. Runyon cited this file as no. 158, but the online Perry County Probate Index identifies it as file no. 128. See Runyon, "Probate Index after 1850," transcribed index, /Stella's Stuff/ ( : accessed 3 Nov 2011).

  2. Thanks Michael! I WILL catch on (with practice!)

  3. Here is an explanation of the changes to your notes. Keep her address in your notes, but no need to add it to the citation. Bravo on noting the discrepancy in the citation, but you should fully cite the index as well. The // marks indicate italics (since I can't add them here in the comments).

    Proper citation is definitely, like research itself, one of those things where practice makes perfect. If you do this with all of your records while you research them, you will pick it up!

  4. Ginger,

    NICE new desk! You can tell it's new because the desktop is almost bare. That would last about 5 minutes in my house! :-D Seriously, I think my record for keeping a new desk "clear of clutter" is about 48 hours. Glad you got the will transcribed -- those can be difficult to make out.

    Have you tried either of these software packages: GenScriber and Transcript. I was catching up on the Genealogy Gems podcast and Lisa Louise Cook mentioned them in Episode 118 back in September. I think I used an earlier version of Transcript on a non-genealogy project a few years back, but I'm hoping to find a person with recent experience in one or both.

    Love the blog - keep up the good writing.